It was only a couple years ago when I was that guy who would go to a restaurant and only order Chicken Fingers, who thought Chinese food meant Sweet & Sour Chicken and who had yet to eat Eggs or even a Grilled Cheese sandwich (crazy, right?). I’ve come a long way since then. Inspired by my best friend and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, I decided to try everything I could find in Buffalo and figured I’d keep track of all these new restaurants with this blog. Well, that was in February of 2009, and since then Buffalo Eats has grown exponentially. We (and by we, I mean mostly myself and new wife Alli) have tried 100′s of new restaurants, met and worked with some awesome people and participated in some really cool events (Soupfest, Pizzafest, Taste of Buffalo, etc).
I really want to stress that I don’t consider myself a food critic and I call our “reviews” Food Porn’s to let people know that I have fun with food and don’t really take myself that seriously. Traditionally, food critics will visit a restaurant 3 times, live in complete anonymity, have absolutely no previous relationship with the restaurants they review and have an extensive knowledge in food in general (history/preparation/etc). I really don’t do any of those things. I am just a regular guy with a full-time non-food related job and a really deep love of Buffalo and food.
- I’ll eat at a restaurant once before I write a review because that’s what most people do and because I’m not exactly rolling in money and can’t afford to go back multiple times.
- I don’t mind putting myself out there because I love meeting people and talking about food. I’ve never experienced preferential treatment because I’m “the Buffalo Eats guy”.
- If we know the restaurant owner or have a conflict of interest, we’ll mention that too.
- I’m not a food expert, I just love trying new foods and finding that little hidden spot that no one knows. If I don’t know a lot about a certain subject, I’ll be the first one to tell you.
- My angle is this: if you think you’re a picky eater and your afraid to try a new restaurant hopefully you can read about my experiences and expand your dining choices beyond your corner Applebees and support local Buffalo restaurants in the process. I was in your shoes; I know I still need to learn more and I’m constantly trying to soak in as much as possible.
I hope you take our posts with a grain of salt; I’m not a food expert, I just really love food. I wasn’t an English major and I’m certainly not going to win any journalism awards anytime soon; I’m always trying to improve my writing. I was born and raised in this city and want to see the people who work here do well and encourage everyone to shop and eat at locally owned and operated establishments (when possible). I hope you enjoy Buffalo Eats for what it is and continue reading. Even after trying over 365 restaurants over the last four years, we still have a lot more to eat and a lot more to learn.
Founder, Buffalo Eats.
PS – If you’d like to contact me to suggest a restaurant, ask about advertising on the site or you’d like to join the staff, please email me: email@example.com.
- “All of this food-centric activity is reflected to a larger audience through a robust online community of food bloggers and activists, who provide countless glimpses into the kitchens and eating lives of Western New York. There’s at least a dozen, but Donnie Burtless and Alli Suriani of BuffaloEats.org have set the standard, compiling a vast, detailed portrait of the local eating world, with reviews, photographs and more. Burtless has interviewed more than 50 chefs, critics, owners, purveyors and other denizens of the food world in “Eat it Up,” his chatty podcast, available on the site.” – Andrew Galarneau, The Buffalo News [2/10/13]